Isukapalli – CoE Outstanding Faculty

Every year, the senior class in each degree program in UC Santa Barbara’s College of Engineering selects an outstanding faculty member

headshots of isukapalli

Excerpt from COE News article "CoE Announces Outstanding Faculty Award Recipients"

For the third year in a row, graduating seniors selected Yogananda Isukapalli for the Outstanding Computer Engineering Faculty Award. Isukapalli joined UCSB’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department as a tenure-track teaching professor in winter 2017, after several years working as a staff scientist in the Wi-Fi division at Broadcom, a semiconductor manufacturing company.

“I am pleased to receive this award; it means a lot coming from graduating CE seniors,” said Isukapalli, who also received the university’s 2020-21 Distinguished Teaching Award from the Academic Senate in recognition of his excellence in teaching and contributing to the teaching mission of the university. “I have taught most of them in many of my classes over the past few years, and I enjoyed seeing them mature as professional engineers. I am honored that they feel I have made an impact through my teaching.”

Isukapalli’s primary role is running the undergraduate capstone program for computer engineering, which focuses on developing students into professionals by pairing them with industry or academic experts to create an engineered solution for real problems.

This year, the topics of capstone projects ranged from designing a portable coagulopathy test, to ensuring a robotic arm’s path remains free of collisions, to automating the anti-corrosion process on navy vessels. The move to remote learning made it an especially challenging year for capstone, leading Isukapalli to modify the projects and meet virtually with students more often than usual.

“Being accessible and creating an inclusive environment have significant impacts on learning,” said Isukapalli, who also received the 2020-21 Northrop Grumman Excellence in Teaching Award. “I teach several project-based courses where I give students the freedom, encouragement, and the resources they need to succeed. As they work on these projects, it’s essential to follow through with them by having many one-on-one interactions. Customizing the content and support for students has led to some fantastic outcomes.”

Isukapalli said his students responded to the challenges with resilience and grit, showing a remarkable collaborative spirit to make their senior projects successful.

“Our experience through the pandemic is yet another example that adversity is not always under our control, but we can choose how to respond,” he said. “I am confident that the graduating students are ready to use the technical and life skills you have learned at UCSB, not only to overcome life’s many challenges, but continue to work toward a bright future.”

COE News – "CoE Announces Outstanding Faculty Award Recipients" (full article)